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Superb Dortmund hit Cologne for six

March 25, 2012 -- Updated 2131 GMT (0531 HKT)
Shinji Kagawa was the star performer as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Cologne 6-1.
Shinji Kagawa was the star performer as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Cologne 6-1.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Borussia Dortmund thrash Cologne 6-1 to lead German table by five points
  • Shinji Kagawa scores twice as Dortmund edge closer to retaining their title
  • Newcastle draw level with Chelsea in Premier League after beating WBA 3-1

(CNN) -- Borussia Dortmund edged a step closer to retaining their German Bundesliga title on Sunday as Japan's Shinji Kagawa scored twice in a 6-1 thrashing of Cologne.

With nearest rivals Bayern Munich defeating Hanover 2-1 the day before, Dortmund needed a win to restore their five-point advantage at the top of the table.

And, after a level first 45 minutes, Dortmund -- led by man-of-the-match Kagawa -- produced a superb second half display with five unanswered goals, to once again hold a dominant lead with just seven matches of the season remaining.

Visitors Cologne started strongly and took the lead through a 13th-minute Milivoje Novakovic header.

But the home side drew level after 26 minutes when Lukasz Piszczek headed in a corner.

Dortmund took the lead for the first time two minutes after the restart when Kagawa blasted home his first and he was also instrumental in some fine play prior to Robert Lewandowski tapping in the third just five minutes later.

By now, Kagawa was running riot and his surging run provided Ilkay Gundagon with a simple fourth goal.

Kagawa netted his 11th of the season, and Dortmund's fifth of the match, with 10 minutes left and a demoralized Cologne defense could do nothing to prevent Ivan Perisic completing the rout.

Dortmund are now on 67 points, five ahead of Bayern who they also face in the German Cup final on May 12 in Berlin.

In the day's other German Bundesliga match, Germany striker Cacau scored the only goal as Stuttgart claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Nuremberg.

In Italy, Juventus maintained their astonishing unbeaten Serie A record, which now stands at 29, after a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan.

Martin Caceres and Alessandro Del Piero scored the second half goals as Juve made it 15 wins and 14 draws this season.

But Milan remain four points clear at the top after Saturday's 2-1 success over Roma, with just nine matches of the season remaining.

A late Mobido Diakite goal gave Lazio a 1-0 win over Cagliari, a result that puts the Roman side three points clear in third place.

Lazio are in 51 points, eight behind Juventus but three ahead of Napoli and Udinese who both drew over the weekend -- in Napoli's case 2-2 at home to improving Catania after squandering a two-goal lead with 15 minutes left to play.

Meanwhile, in the only English Premier League match played on Sunday, Newcastle drew level with fifth-placed Chelsea, just five points away from a Champions League place, after an impressive 3-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion.

All Newcastle's goals came in a superb first half display, with Papiss Cisse prodding home the opener after just six minutes.

And they doubled their lead six minutes after that, Hatem Ben Arfa finding the net after a well worked build-up involving both Cisse and Yohan Cabaye.

The result was assured after 34 minutes when Cisse blasted home Ben Arfa's pull-back for his fifth goal since joining Newcastle in the January transfer window.

Shane Long pulled a goal back for the home side early in the second half, but Newcastle held on for an impressive victory.

In Spain, big-spending Malaga are now level on points with third-placed Valencia after a 2-1 win at Espanyol on Sunday.

Two goals in two minutes late in the match from from Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Martin Demichelis ensured Malaga moved three points clear of fifth-placed Levante, who were beaten 2-0 at home by Osasuna.

And bottom side Zaragoza continued their good recent form as a last-gasp Apono penalty gave them a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

Once cast adrift at the foot of the table, Zaragoza are now level on 25 points with Sporting Gijon and Racing Santander, who both drew 1-1 away from home on Sunday.

However, all three clubs are still six points from safety, after fourth bottom Villarreal claimed a crucial 2-0 success at Rayo Vallecaho.

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